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Oma came down for a quick visit this week and we had to lay down the rules. Because oh boy, there are rules. Just a quick rundown of the rules is enough to accurately describe life in Alves Manor these days.

  • You shall not say the words “outside,” “shoes,” or “bath” in ANY CONTEXT unless you are prepared to either go outside or give Paulo a bath that that EXACT moment. This is trickier than you would think. I mean, ANY context. Even saying “This thing was outside the box.” “I bought a new pair of shoes.” “It was as warm as bath water.” NOPE. You’re on the train to either the playground, the bathtub, or heartbreak city.
  • You may not eat or drink  anything that can not be shared with The Whuff. You may not even POSSESS a food or beverage item that he may not partake of. I learned this one the hard way with a bottle of Coke that I wasn’t even drinking out of that was in the stroller. If he can’t have it, you’d better not let him even SEE it. Telling my own mother that she had to hide in the kitchen to drink her Diet Coke was… it was a moment. Given my own love of cheese and my son’s lactose intolerance, this can be a very painful rule.
  • The only acceptable television programs during Whuff’s waking hours are A Monster in Paris, Despicable Me, Special Agent Oso, Super Why, or old Mickey Mouse cartoons. Anything else may or may not be tolerated – find out at your own peril. During Whuff’s non-waking hours, TV must be turned down low. You may also want to put the captions on and run the dryer should it be naptime and you want to catch up on Breaking Bad.
  • Don’t even try to load the dishwasher. Just don’t even try it. Eventually you have to shut the dishwasher and this is the most heartwrenching thing that has ever happened.
  • Items must be at least 8″ away from the edges of the counter unless you think toddlers playing with knives is a good idea.
  • Should he request to wear his raincoat and boots when it is 80 degrees outside and sunny, it is absolutely not worth arguing with him. This will happen… every single time you go outside. He is now known at the playground as “the kid with the boots.”
  • Mom shall be no more than 6″ away at all times. Even if other adults are in the home, mom shall never, EVER be behind a closed door for ANY reason. Mom shall never be out of the home at a time when the Whuff is in it, no matter who else is present. The lack of mom may only be tolerated should The Whuff be outside on adventures and even then, her name may not be spoken aloud without repercussions. (Either “mama” or my actual name. He never calls me “Sonja” like he calls Nuno by name, but he knows it refers to me.)

So many rules to follow. But hey, we were able to keep Paulo entertained outside with other adults long enough for me to get my hair done, so… SUCCESS.

To everyone who tells me “Oh, you’ll be sad when the clingyness ends and he doesn’t want anything to do with you!” I roll my eyes in your general direction. Oh yes, I’ll be so sad when I don’t have to put my son in his bedroom with my iPad in order for me to eat a sandwich. I will also remind him at length not only of my 47hrs of labor, but the many, many hours I had to lie down on the floor next to him and pet his hair while he played with his trains. And how I had to follow him around on the playground and sit down next to him while he got in and out of the Cozy Coupe for a solid half hour. This clingy phase is one that when it does finally end for me, HE is never going to hear the end of it.

(Seriously, all summer this phase. I’d say send help, but really, don’t even bother because it will only cause a tantrum.)